Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 BMW X1 VS 2017 Mercedes GLA Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2017 BMW X1

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2017 Mercedes GLA

Safety Comparison

Both the X1 and the GLA have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X1 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 103 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GLA has not been tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

The X1’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GLA’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X1 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the GLA.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X1 has a standard 150-amp alternator. The GLA’s 115-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 second among compact premium suvs in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The GLA isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The X1’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (228 vs. 208) than the GLA250’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW X1 is faster than the GLA250:




Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.5 MPH

89.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the X1 xDrive gets better highway fuel mileage than the GLA45 AMG 4MATIC Auto 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (375 HP) (22 city/31 hwy vs. 22 city/28 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the X1’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The GLA doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The X1 has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA 250’s standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The X1 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA 45 AMG’s standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 14.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the X1’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the GLA:




Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.6 inches

The X1’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the GLA250 are solid, not vented.

The X1 stops shorter than the GLA:





70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X1 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. Run-flat tires aren’t available on some tire packages on the GLA.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The X1 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The GLA250 suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The X1’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56.5% to 43.5%) than the GLA’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the X1 more stable handling and braking.

The X1 xDrive28i xDrive handles at .87 G’s, while the GLA250 4MATIC pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the X1 has a 2.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the GLA45 AMG (7.2 vs. 4.8 inches), allowing the X1 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the X1 xDrive28i xDrive is quieter than the GLA250 4MATIC (40 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The X1 has 10 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLA (101 vs. 91).

The X1 has 3.5 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, 4 inches more rear headroom, 9.9 inches more rear legroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLA.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X1’s rear seats recline. The GLA’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The X1 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (27.1 vs. 14.9 cubic feet). The X1 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (58.7 vs. 41.8 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X1’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The GLA doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the X1’s available cargo door can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The GLA doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

The X1 offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The GLA doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Consumer Reports rated the X1’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the GLA’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X1 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The GLA doesn’t offer cornering lights. The X1 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

On extremely cold Winter days, the X1’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The GLA doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the X1 is less expensive to operate than the GLA because typical repairs cost much less on the X1 than the GLA, including $168 less for a water pump, $87 less for an alternator, $82 less for front brake pads, $185 less for a starter, $114 less for fuel injection, $100 less for front struts and $275 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW X1 will be $219 to $15193 less than for the Mercedes GLA.

Recommendations Comparison

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its September 2016 issue and they ranked the BMW X1 xDrive28i xDrive first. They ranked the Mercedes GLA250 4MATIC third.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 first among compact premium suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The GLA isn’t in the top three in its category.

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